Hamilton not impressed by Red Bull pace

2013 F1 season

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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Jerez, 2013Lewis Hamilton said he was not concerned by the pace shown by Red Bull so far on the final day of testing.

Sebastian Vettel set a time of 1’18.565 on hard tyres in the first half of the final day of testing but Hamilton wasn’t concerned by the show of pace from the RB9:

“18.5, yeah, I don’t know how the hards behave but over the last couple of days people seem to get a decent time out of the hards. Yeah, I mean the Red Bull’s always quick so it’s not a surprise, it doesn’t impress me at all.”

He said Mercedes were unsure where they stood compared to the rest of the field at the moment:

“I’ve asked the guys to try and predict it but they don’t know. We don’t know what fuel loads people are on so it would be just a guess.”

Hamilton completed 59 laps on the morning of his second day in the Mercedes. He lost most of his first day of running on Wednesday after a brake failure caused a high-speed crash.

“It’s much, much better than what we started with,” he said. “The car’s obviously been capable of that we’ve just had a couple of issues.”

“I feel like the mileage, of course it will count,” he added. “Because by the time we get to the end someone’s done 5,000 kilometres or whatever it is and we would have done four or something like that.

“But we’re catching up. Nico did 150 laps yesterday so he already caught kind of a day back up with people doing 80 laps, something like that.

“We’re probably not going to be able to get to 150 laps today because Nico had already done close to 100 by now. But we’ll still try and get as much time in as possible.”

Hamilton spoke to media at Jerez while the final day of testing was red-flagged when a hole appeared in one of the kerbs. Hamilton said the delay, which lasted almost an hour, didn’t affect him:

“It works out well because i just had lunch,” he said. “The guys are working on changing some things on the car so we just shifted our lunch earlier.

“I didn’t even see what was on I heard it was a manhole or something on the track. It wasn’t an issue for me while I was out there but as long as they fix it and we get out hopefully quite soon.”

He said Mercedes are “at the level we hoped we’re at” with the W04. “I couldn’t really ask for more.”

“The guys have done a great job to add downforce to the car and understand where they’ve been and take the car in the direction they really wanted to go.”

However he added he needed more running to give them team the direction they need: “I wouldn’t say I was clear, no. With time and more testing I think I’ll become more clear.”

2013 F1 season

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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44 comments on “Hamilton not impressed by Red Bull pace”

  1. Does everything that Lewis says deserve an own post?

    1. hell yea

      1. Well…it’s pre-season testing, everyone is looking at the times trying to figure out who’s car is looking good and who’s isn’t. Hamilton gets interviewed and offers an insight into his feelings about his teams car…is that not worth reporting then?? This is an F1 site after all….what do you come on here for if you don’t want to read the opinion of an F1 driver?

      2. Well you read it!

    2. I think it’s been pretty balanced so far on here across articles with Lotus, Ferrari and a couple of Red Bull articles.

      Lewis will be the focus of a lot of extra attention this year because of the move to Mercedes.

    3. Why not? The more the merrier as far as I’m concerned.

    4. These are all articles on the front page of F1fanatic on what other F1 drivers said.
      I think you should read them. This is no special treatment to Lewis Hamilton.

      Kimi Raikonen – http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2013/02/07/raikkonen-e21-feels-years-car/
      Rosberg – http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2013/02/07/rosberg-laps/
      Massa – http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2013/02/07/massa-left-wanting-track-time/

    5. @dennis In the past four days I’ve heard from, spoken to and written up interviews from Massa, Raikkonen, Webber, Rosberg, Button, Grosjean, Hulkenberg, Christian Horner, Ross Brawn, James Allison, Franz Tost, Toto Wolff and Paul Hembery. And I’ve got several more to write up.

      Hamilton isn’t the first drive I’ve reported on twice, so I’m wondering why you didn’t object to me reporting what Massa had to say?

      1. +1

        I like hearing from everyone, if even more than once, another great article Keith

      2. Its great to see the test offers as many opportunities to get some interviews in actually. I loved te pieces with Allison and with Tost as well. Hemberly was a real nugget.

        Sure, its not likely that a driver really surprises, although I found it very interesting to hear what Hulkenberg said about the Sauber and its characteristics. But in the end its interesting to hear what Hamilton and others note about their own team and his efforts (and aren’t we all wondering about how everybody ranks currently), so thank you for getting this online.

      3. Some people just like to complain rather than enjoy a wonderful F1 news source. Kudos, Keith; you guys continue to be the best out there.

      4. Great work Keith.
        Thank you

    6. @dennis I wonder how easy it is for you not to read it, and I mean Vettel got several of his own post over the break, I believe Massa did as well and Alonso too..

      Your bias is showing ;)

    7. As in Ron Dennis????

    8. Yes Ron, just like everyone else!

    9. The is cool, that´s it.

  2. if team going to follow his direction, what about Rosberg?? =P

    Is this what we called no.1 status??

    1. As an F1 driver, isn’t it normal to want your team to follow your requirements?

      I think, by far, it is not up to Lewis, but up to Mercedes to decide how it’s going weigh each drivers advice. In fact, I suspect that Lewis would be silly not to try and get them to listen to his needs.

    2. Lewis should be given Number 1 Treatment so that he can fight Vettel and Alonso on an even scale.

  3. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    8th February 2013, 13:25

    If you read the article, he said “Yeah, I mean the Red Bull’s always quick so it’s not a surprise, it doesn’t impress me at all.” After all, RB being one of the quickest or the quickest is hardly impressive at this point. Being slow, on the other hand, well that would shock us all…

  4. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    8th February 2013, 13:29

    Typical way to take somebody’s words and to set them in a way it was not intended.
    Back in the early 90s, it was really surprising when car laps differ from one team to another in more than 2 seconds sometimes. That was impressive

    1. @omarr-pepper Hamilton literally said he wasn’t impressed by Red Bull’s speed. Nothing has been “twisted”.

      1. Not to mention that the question could have been ‘were you impressed by the Red Bulls pace?’

  5. Hamilton is a very love or hate driver, either everyone kisses the ground he walks on or hates his guts. I’m sure he had a go at Red Bull the start of last season too, he can say what he wants, the mind games might get him closer to being on Red Bull’s level. I know this comment is going to get so much hate from Hamilton fans but I don’t care, when Hamilton has a poor season fighting for zero championships the rest of us will have the last laugh.

    1. That wasn’t the point to his comment, you took it the wrong way obviously. He is saying he’s not impressed with it, becasue he expected the current WDC & WCC holder to be fast from the start. It is not a swipe or anything at RBR, but rather you seem to want to gain an argument over it.

  6. I´m liking this guy more and more as time goes by. He seems to take a whack at RBR every time he gets a chance! hhahha
    I think This will be the second driver I will be rooting for after Fernando.

    1. @catracho504
      Same. Then again, I don’t blame Lewis for taking shots at a team whose attitude is virtually begging the fans to hate them.

    2. I don’t see this comment at all as “taking a whack” at Red Bull: why should he be surprised that Red Bull are quick? If he is saying it as he thinks the Red Bull’s aren’t as quick as he would expect though I think that is a rather silly comment; he has no way of knowing what programme/fuel loads/set-up they were running, so taking anything from the times would be stupid.

      1. @vettel1
        I would definitely agree with you Max if Lewis hadn´t played down or deminished Vettel or RBR as he did this past season… That is why I see it as taking a whack at RBR. I may be wrong but as @kingshark said… He can´t be blamed… and I think it not only has to do with the team attitude… I see RBR as the rich kid on the block that always has the coolest toys and feels he has to buy his way in to be liked… sort of like Richie Rich?!
        Anyways, it´s hard not to think that there was some venom to his words!

  7. haters gone hate. Thanks for the post. I couldnt go to spain so thanks for keeping me in the loop

  8. “Hamilton wasn’t concerned by the show of(f) pace from the RB9” ;)

  9. “it doesn´t impress me at all”. He says that don´t impress him that RedBull´s pace is impressive, as always.

    1. @oskar What is there to be impressed about? RBR are the current WDC and WCC holders for that past three years, they should be fast thus it’s not impresive but expected of them! You RBR fans sure get up in arms over the smallest of things.

      1. @magillagorilla – testing times are fairly meaningless generally so from that respect he can’t be impressed – he doesn’t have the context to the time. Really we have to wait until Q3 on the 16th of March to say who’s times are impressive! But yes I would take the fact he isn’t surprised they are quick as a compliment!

        1. @vettel1 I’m well aware what the testing means (been following for more than a decade), and I have said on this board and others that the true test will come at the Australian GP. I’m not talking about times, and seeing past interviews time isn’t relevent to Lewis either, rather I’m saying just like you did earlier, there is nothing to be surprised about. It would be more surprising if RBR didn’t seem fast.

          1. @magillagorilla – the fact a journalist or him mentioned the times at all is a bit surprising. If we were going by that, I would stick my leg out and say Lotus were the quickest, not Red Bull but we have no way of knowing currently (it’s not like it used to be where one team would clearly be ahead). So yes, of course nothing to be surprised about. The only thing I’m surprised about currently is how Caterham still appear to be clearly slower than the midfield, which is a shame.

  10. “Cool guys don’t look at explosions” :D

  11. Hamilton was quoted on sky sports news as saying that the Mercedes feels like it has a lot less downforce than the McLaren he drove last year.

    1. Hamilton has been quoted in a lot of places as saying things that he hasn’t actually said.

      1. He set a best time of 1’19.515 which was still quick enough for sixth-fastest time at the end of the day. “That was an easy time to get,” he said. “There’s definitely more in it but I’m pushing the aero guys as hard as I can because we need more aero, for sure.”

        “Coming from a McLaren that was so competitive at the end of last year, had incredible downforce, you definitely notice the difference But it’s nowhere near as bad as it could be.”

        Direct quote from this website, and I believe that’s an interview that Keith was present for. So… conspiracy laid to rest?

    2. Is it just me who feels that it directly shows when looking at the Merc? It just looks incredibly dis-harmonic to me. I know it is getting harder and harder to actually see how the advances in aero really works but from the looks of it…. well, I haven’t seen a car looking in a loooong time.

  12. I say keep the content comin!

    Seems natural to cover him close right now also — considering the big, risky move to MB.

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